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Authors: Jack Parker

Perfect Sacrifice (9 page)

BOOK: Perfect Sacrifice
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Ray began heading for the door, walking right past Abby and the nurses. She stretched her arm over her head again, smiling to herself.

"I think I'll get some rest," she said. "I'm kinda tired." Before Abby could respond or try once more to dissuade the ace knight from her decision, Ray walked out the door, heading down the hallway towards her room. She really did need to get some sleep. After all, her day had been anything but relaxing.

* * * *

"Leon, are you insane?" questioned Chris frantically. His older brother was simply lounging on the couch, not seeming to care that he was practically pulling his blond hair out. Obviously Leon had no idea about the consequences to his most recent action. That or he just didn't care.

Dr. Solaris walked into the room, sipping a can of pop. He quickly noticed his younger son's distress. He walked over to Chris and Leon, a question on his lips.

"What's going on?" he asked, confused over the predicament. Chris turned to his dad frenetically.

"Leon challenged the ace knight!" he exclaimed. Dr. Solaris nearly spit out the pop he was drinking. He coughed a few times, clearing his liquid filled throat.
He challenged Ray?
He wanted to say it out loud, but he still needed to keep his promise.

"Leon," he began as calmly as he could, catching his son's attention. "Why did you challenge the ace knight?"

"I wanna see if I can win," he said simply. "I just want a challenge, and there isn't a better pilot than the ace knight." That made sense. There really wasn't a pilot who was better…except for Ramirez. However, he never came out to battle. He was always hidden away at his base, and no one had a clue as to where that was. Even if he did decide to participate in an official battle, he wouldn't get far. The GRC would arrest him on the spot.

"I see," responded Dr. Solaris. He knew his son didn't stand a chance against Ray and her well rounded Geno, a machine without a base form. It was built for a soldier, and it was given to a knight. However, it was possible that Leon would stand a chance at victory simply because of the timing. Ray's arm was more or less broken. She was at a serious disadvantage. This struck the question as to why she would accept the challenge. Sprains and dislocations didn't heal that quickly. Piloting a Geno with one arm was anything but easy.

"I'm going to sleep," announced Leon as he removed himself from the couch, heading to his room down the hallway. "I'll be heading out early in the morning, so don't bother cooking me anything."

"Alright," responded his father. Chris followed after him, heading to his own room. It really was late, and they all needed some sleep.

Dr. Solaris sighed to himself as he went towards his work room.
She's such a stubborn girl, accepting a battle challenge in her condition.
He realized that it couldn't be helped. The decision had been made, and all he could do was sit back and watch as the battle took place within the next few days.

* * * *

Ray walked down the long hallways of the GRC base. Almost everyone was still asleep since it was incredibly early to be awake. She didn't seem to care, however. She had things she wanted to do. Staying inside the base all day would cause an extreme case of boredom, not to mention the fact that everyone would be nagging her about the decision she had made. No one was going to change her mind, so she didn't even want to put up with it.

Casually, she walked through the doors to the main room where Gordan was currently sitting at a computer. He appeared to be working on something, most likely an update for their system. Ray walked up behind him, a smile on her face.

"Hey Gordan," she greeted. He stopped typing and sighed before turning around to face her.

"Good morning, Ray," he responded. There was a moment of silence as Ray rocked back and forth on her feet, a question on her mind. It's not like it was that hard of a question to ask, but she was really hoping that the answer would be yes. If he said no, she didn't know what she'd do.

"So…" she began, staring at the ceiling. "Did you…?"

"Yes," he cut in, placing an elbow on his desk, his chin resting on his palm. "It took all night, but we finished it." He ran a hand through his short hair and sighed deeply. "Ray, this isn't a good idea."

"Don't chide me," she told him with a smile. "Abby and Brian did enough of that last night."

"Look, battling is difficult with only one arm," he began anyway. "Even though we modified your Geno to compensate for it, you'll have to pull much harder on the controls to make it move how you want." Ray mockingly flexed her arm, her smirk still intact.

"I'm strong, Gordan, remember?" she told him with an overabundance of confidence. "I can do it, no problem." Gordan sighed as he placed his head in his hands. There was no arguing with Ray. When she wanted to do something, she did it. No one would ever be able to persuade her otherwise, not even him.

"Damn it, Ray," he whispered, knowing that she could hear him. "I know I'm not your father or anything, but despite what you think, I do worry about you. You can go into battle, I don't care, but if you get hurt, mark my words that you
will
be put on probation. You won't be allowed to battle for a long time."

"Understood," she said with a nod. "I won't get hurt, so there's no need to worry." She turned around and began to walk away. "I'm going to Torran for the day, alright? Call if you need me. Oh, and my report is in your office."

"Alright," he responded in a sigh as he turned back around in his chair to finish his work. However, his mind was currently floating somewhere else. He couldn't help but worry about the ace knight. There was no way she'd be ready for a battle in three days. Even for someone like her, a dislocated shoulder would take awhile to heal.
Stupid girl. Why can't she listen for a change?

* * * *

Ray walked through one of the few unpopulated areas of Torran, one of the largest cities on the planet. She was currently heading to a place that not many people went to anymore. They either didn't have time to visit or they found it too hard to relive the memories that it held. However, despite how few people came out this way, there were always a lot of people there, and not one of them would ever leave their cold home.

Ray reached the entrance to the cemetery, the barred, metal gates hanging wide open, welcoming her to a beautifully decorated memorial grounds. There were grave stones everywhere, some nothing but a block of cement stuck in the soil. Others were magnificent statues, carved from polished marble or normal stone. They were all beautiful nonetheless, despite the simplicity of most.

She walked forward, her attention on one stone in particular. She knew exactly where it was, what it said, and who was under it. There wasn't a huge headstone or an angel carved statue shining in the light of God. There was only a small stone plate imbedded in the ground, words and numbers etched onto the silver plating over the polished rock.

Ray stopped in front of it, staring down at the piece of rock and metal. Right now, she didn't care about the fact that the wind was pulling at her jacket, at her hair, or that it stung like ice against her skin. She kept her attention fully on the stone before her.

"Hey Lee," she said softly, a weak smile crossing her face. As she read the words and numbers over and over again in her mind, old memories started fading back from their resting places. She hated it, but she somehow found solace in those faded pictures in her mind.

* * * *

"Lee?" questioned a little girl as she pulled on the coat sleeve of a young man. He looked down at her, a smile playing on his face, reaching his soft black eyes. His golden locks fell just past his ears, his bangs partially covering his face. However, his expression was still easy to see.

"What is it, Ray?" he asked her kindly.

"What's that?" she questioned, pointing her five-year-old index finger at a large black cat made of metal. Even though it was just a machine, it looked so much like a real feline. The boy looked to the mechanical creature she was asking about, his smile widening.

"That's a Geno," he told her.

"Geno?" she questioned, her cherry eyes sparkling. Her long silvery blue hair was pulled into a ponytail, adding to the innocence she represented in her silky sundress and white sandals. She was just like all little girls were. She looked almost too blameless to be real, as if she was nothing more than a living doll.

"They're robots," Lee began explaining. "They can be a cat, a bird, a fish, or they can even look like us."

"Really?" she asked, obviously excited about the concept. "What do they do?"

"People use them to battle," he explained. His eyes narrowed a little, but his smile didn't falter. He continued to stare out the window, looking into the docking bay at a group of Genos owned by the GRC. Their pilots were walking around, some chatting aimlessly while others seemed to be modifying their mechanical partners. All of them were currently in training to be top fighters. They were going to be the best of the best, or at least that was what everyone was hoping for.

"Someday," Lee began, "I'm gonna pilot one."

"You are?" questioned Ray as she looked up at her older brother. He was acting more like a man of twenty than a boy of fifteen, his eyes hard and focused on the black beasts below them.

"I'm gonna pilot them, and I'll become a knight for the GRC," he told his sister, his voice never once faltering in its confidence. "I'll be the best there is."

"No one'll beat you," she told him with pride shining in her eyes. He only smiled in response.

"Someday…"

* * * *

Ray closed her eyes, fighting off tears that had been threatening to fall for over eleven years. She kept thinking about how unfair it was. Lee had only just begun his training as a knight. It all happened so fast. She hated to think about it, but the scene wouldn't leave her alone. It clawed at her mind, shredding every piece of contentment she had left. A wry smile managed to cross her face as she once again succeeded to hold back her tears.

"It looks like I'm living your dream, huh bro?" she said to him. She didn't expect an answer, nor did she want one. She was met only with the gentle breeze that tossed her hair. However, despite how calm or how wild the wind blew, the left side of her face always remained covered. Not once did the gusting air expose what was hidden behind her silvery blue locks.

Ray turned away from her brother's grave and looked out across the vast field of death and anguish. However, the way it was decorated made a lot of people often forget that death was such a sad thing. Perhaps the dead were happy in the ground. She had once been told that the dead got off easy. It was the ones left behind that had to deal with the pain. Pain was a good word for it. It wasn't the same type of pain as her newly relocated shoulder or as her still sore midriff. This was a pain that couldn't be cured with even the finest of medicines. It was a pain in her heart, her mind, her very soul, and she doubted that it would ever go away.

She began to walk away from her memories, heading out further into the cemetery that was full of small hills and trees. She was careful not to step on any of the flowers that people had placed there. The field was full of them, all different colors. It was a beautiful place above but a very sad one beneath.

As she came to the top of one of the small hills, she looked out across the field below her. She stopped walking when she saw someone else standing near a grave. He stood stock still, his hands in his pockets, his head slightly down. His messy brown hair was being tossed in the wind, along with his brown coat that fell just above his knees.

"Leon?" she questioned to herself, instantly recognizing the boy. He finally moved, turning away from the stone. He began to head back towards the exit of the cemetery. He walked slowly, his head still slightly down.

Ray walked down the hill, being careful of the gravestones at the bottom. Stepping on a gravestone was a disrespectful act, and she didn't need any more curses than she already had. As she neared the stone Leon had been at, she slowed her pace until she finally reached it. She stopped in front of the finely polished stone, plated with gold. The name Lily Solaris was chiseled into the fine metal.

Pity filled Ray's eyes as realization hit her. Leon had come for a reason similar to her own. He came to visit the one person he had loved and lost. Dr. Solaris had never mentioned what the loss of Leon's mother had done to the boy. His expression had been so full of pain that she hadn't pushed the topic.

Ray sighed to herself as she prepared to turn around and leave. However, five shadows fell over her. She tensed up a bit as she slowly turned around. Five men stood there, smirks on their faces. Each one was taller than she was by at least a good five inches. However, it didn't matter to her. Size meant nothing. She just narrowed her eyes in annoyance.

"Hey girl," said one of them, a sick grin on his face. "Give us all your money."

 

Leon was walking away from his mother's grave, deep in thought. He was basically trying to ignore everything around him, wanting to sulk privately in his sorrow, a pain that had yet to leave him be. However, a voice caught his ears, and he stopped, glancing back. The words spoken by the voice had been a threat. That much was for sure. He turned fully around and saw five men standing around some girl.

BOOK: Perfect Sacrifice
2.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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